ISSUE THREE

Clueless & Briefly Gorgeous

I buy too much, for someone of my stature.
could pawn a skinny metaphor to purchase a plump skin.
its reputed in our lineage— to daydream a life that shreds our pockets.

My Multiverses

It is the 70s. 1970s? 2570s? Who knows?
Audre and I have a penthouse in New York.

The Final Fruits

My mother has been dead for two hundred and forty-three days. I’ve had plenty of things in my refrigerator for longer.

Dear Deer in the Compost Pile

I tap at the alphabet while a single deer
taps at the dirt beyond the brush
on the far side of the tree line.

The State School 1984 His Given Name Was Wilbur  We Called Him Magpie

Mostly he ate what was put on his plate
snuck coffee grounds or dirt for a snack
Once a zipper Unzipped

robertson quay

how does an afternoon turn
on its axis?

I Garden at the Edge of Autumn

There is so little left of the tomato plants.

An Endeavor of Being Now

We stop doing dishes while
a mile unwinds
from the tree outside.

“Artifact,” as Translated from Gluberhöff’s Lexicon

Any still figure at mid-late evening, when the long shadows make even crumbs appear arranged like furniture.

Unerased | Steep Steps

My grandmother asked, “Does it feel like being widowed?”

appetites

you quit wearing pants
loaf around your yard
in hole-nipped panties

Sprung (April)

I like to think I’m also sprung,
released from the furnace knocks,
done with the heavy meat stews
and salty soups.

Demolition

I feel somewhat bad about using the death of my father as an excuse to prolong my trip.

Out of the Harbor and Into the Open Sea

I’d never heard of anyone having a second baby right after the first one, but everything was so strange in those early days of motherhood that I just acted on instinct.

There’s No Such Thing As Expired.

A series of photos taken with expired film.

The Whole Vile Lot

I eat my Oreos with relish. No—I mean I relish in the Oreos I eat.

The Rift

None speak of how the streets collide in coarse seams like scars, the fresh cobbles unable to level with the ones shaken from their mortar by uncountable seasons.

necromancer woman, witch woman

In my universe, my arm carries a heart and flowers,
my back a misguided quote

Vase

The storm passes without snow.
The car waits loyally in the back lot.

A Way of Seeing

Just starlight and some small scribbling across vinyl.

Time Travel

I count my homes—
those of my scattered youth
the sanctuary of our young family
the intermittent rest stops
of apartments and vacations.

Post Pregnancy Examination (Shortened Form)

Infant’s Name: A
Delivery Date: August 1, 2002

Theoretical Debate

On the first day of our new life together, my husband realized that I was not interested in theoretical debate. He said it was okay by him and went out to get some pancake mix.

Crossing the Square

My dad was an inveterate theatergoer in the old country where theatre reigned supreme before the Soviets, under the Soviets, after the Soviets.

All In

I don’t
know why
I’m in the garden
kneeling on dirt

Your Glass Mouth

A tortured simper uncoils itself across my mouth as I open another bottle of Penis wine.

Like dirt

this is what I want you to to see:
leaves falling because it is too late for them not to

The Drift

And then he feels that familiar sensation of drifting—when his body untethers from the material world and he soon dissolves into a fine, floating mist that evaporates into the atmosphere.

Darkness always follows.

Black Ghosts of Ponderosa on a Silhouette of Hill

Even as the sun warms the concrete
the long nights’ sensual cold lingers in my clothes.

Your Family (Search) History

No matter how you try to ignore it, you look like him. You look like your father.

What Do People Do All Day?

What possible use is this lengthy childhood? Surely there would be a selective advantage in maturing earlier, so children are less vulnerable to predation and mothers are freed up to have more children?

Back Suplex

Gravel-scatted hell &
we were blessed to be able
to hold on for even a heartbeat

Lobster

I suffer visions and many indignities
while looking for the Lobster

Snow Falls from Branches

Should have found a job by now; should have slept in the night;
should have boiled old coffee before noon.

Capturing Time in Nature

Vistas from the American Southwest, catching the light and design in all its strangeness and beauty.

wade-in

I am in Rite Aid buying ChapStick and diapers, when people start washing away in the rain.

Letter To a Young Poet

Do not say anything anybody else has said ever. Things are not “bleached by sun.”

A Hundred Stories

Taking photographs of my hometown has given me a chance to reflect on people whom I have not valued.

Mom, in Her Dementia, Steals Oranges

and apples, mackintosh mostly, but any kind left in The Pub
at the Assisted Living Place

Despairathon

You’ve spent a lifetime training
for this.

Existential

four-thirty a.m.

A Beautiful Thing

I want to roll in this moment until I become its vocabulary
until I smell like the bones
until I am its echo…

Pop Trompe L’oeil

Still life all the time inspired by scenes of domestic life.

Familiar Territory

Could someone hating you really cause a physical unease? Sure, why not.

A note on the artwork in this issue: Other than any works published as “visual art” by specific artists, all of the images in Issue #3 of Abandon Journal, including the cover, were created by the editors using DALL-E 2.